Workers Cats of the World Unite!
A very wealthy man in that socialist paradise called the People’s Republic of China — a billionaire — died from eating a dish of slow-boiled cat meat stew.
The AP reports from Beijing, Jan 3, 2012, that Long Liyuan, 49, died on Dec. 23 in China’s booming southeastern Guangdong province after sharing a dish of slow boiled cat meat stew, “a southern delicacy,” with two men over a business lunch.
One of the men, local official Huang Guang, was arrested by police on Friday on suspicion of poisoning the hotpot with a toxic herb, Gelsemium elegans. Police say Huang and Long had economic disputes and had met for lunch to discuss a business contract. Long, who ran a forestry company in Guangdong, wanted to lease a piece of woodland and develop it.
All three men were sickened, but Long died because he consumed more of the cat stew — and thus, more of the poisonous herb. The third man at the table, Huang Wen, a friend of Long’s, was quoted by media as saying he had only eaten a little because it tasted “more bitter” than usual.
Long, who ate more than the others, soon felt dizzy and sick and was taken to a hospital where he went into cardiac arrest and died.
Police initially detained the restaurant’s owner on suspicion of serving unsanitary food. But the businessman’s family refused to believe it was a simple case of food poisoning, pressed the police to investigate further and offered a reward of 100,000 yuan ($16,000) for information about his death.
Gelsemium elegans is a poisonous plant found in forests in parts of China. Gelsemium is a genus of flowering plants belonging to family Gelsemiaceae. Appropriately, G. elegans is nicknamed “heartbreak grass.”
Read about the horrible cat-meat trade in China, here.